tv [untitled] March 16, 2011 9:30am-10:00am PDT
we are hand in hand with other departments. they are rescheduling to fit with our schedule. we have had a turnaround time of one hour to two hours. this is a high priority for everybody. everybody is as anxious to get this working as a commission. commissioner murphy: commissioner lee. commissioner lee: i am glad we are talking to other departments. i am hoping it goes smoothly. it is good to hear that everyone else is on board, but two years out seems a long time. technology moves very fast. apple turns out an ipad every 10
months. if we are working toward a two- year goal, is technology going to change, are we going to be keeping pace with the latest developments? those are some of the question that we need to ask. the best thing would be to get this out quicker. >> we have been carefully looking at what versions people have been able to acquire when they do this type of project. the companies are typically trying to make sure that whatever the latest version is there. primarily, the reason this project takes a long time is, -- i do not want to say customization, because it is not. it is a way of modeling to make
sure that things are set up in the way that we need them to be. an off-the-shelf system is basically a structure. this is simple terms. i would think of it like excel, or an access database. we are looking for something that is flexible enough to pick up data from multiple places, manipulate it, do all kinds of algorithms and put it together to get it where we need it at the time. that is specialized for us, and that is something that we have to work on. data conversion is a problem. we need to clean it up. we started, but there is a cleanup process. commissioner lee: let me ask a follow-up question. would it be helpful to put out a
basic version first and then add on to it, cater to what we want? >> we are working on having similar functionality as we have now, with the flexibility to move onto something later. i think what we are doing is what you are asking for. i am hoping we can shorten it. we said no more than 24 months. there are possibilities, depending on what happens, that it can be shortened. i will continue to update you as we go through the process. >> i would also exercise the concern that 24 months is far
too long. the category hear of that portion of staff that will be trained, possibly moved on, the transition that takes place, training staff -- it may be on a continuing basis. >> one of the key elements in this process is making sure we have the capability to train the trainer. basically, that would give the expertise of being able to, in part, current staff and future staff. it is like having a succession plan. i understand the 24 months. as soon as we can start any discussion with the vendors, we will talk about how that can be shortened, making sure that the
system works when it is implemented. commissioner clinch: is there an approach by which -- i know there are a lot of people out there that are still using the categories of microsoft 2003. the compatibility of 2007 -- we are adding another four years into this -- that will wrap in another layer of compatibility that will be challenging for the public. that is my concern, where the continuity could be road blocked by the system. >> commissioners, this is a web- based product we are looking at. any updates to the product or software will be made once by the department. users of the system will automatically see the update,
but it will not be a major change, like microsoft 2003 to 2007. in past practices -- i have implemented several of these systems in prior jobs. whenever there is an update to the product, there is a -- that is distributed to the owner of the product, and something that we can give to the public to say that these are our changes. we made sure that this was in our contract. any changes to the software that will be major will be fully described to both the in-house user and public, and documented as such, before the update is released to the public. so there will be constant training and online training available. we have asked to have that
available from the vendor also. if you see a change in the system, you can see what the change is. it is very different from a microsoft product. commissioner murphy: thank you. commissioner clench? -- clinch? commissioner clinch: i have questions about retaining a vendor, signing a contract. >> there are procedures set up by the city on how you go through the process of selecting and negotiating a contract. we also looked at some of the things that we had experienced. this is, obviously, worst-case scenario that you keep on working in a circle and then move on. the biggest stumbling blocks are
the legal review. insurance is usually a no-brain year. going through the office of contracts administration. i feel like we have stretched our arms around that and have gotten them to be comfortable to us and respond to our questions. they know that you are very anxious to get this. they know that we are, too. commissioner clinch: first, i sympathize. this is driving me crazy. secondly, do you feel 23 months is sufficient to get through all of this? >> i feel it is sufficient, but my issue is getting and keeping on top of the contractors to make our project the highest priority in terms of negotiating
the scope of work. commissioner clinch: [inaudible] >> and just pushed them. commissioner clinch: unbelievable. ok. commissioner murphy: supervisor mar. commissioner mar: thank you for the chart. i think a lot of things are going to happen a lot faster than the 24 months. even when we configure the target date, goals, maybe we could put it on the agenda to get a progress report? this helps us in terms of progress. i also know we are trying to set up joint meetings with other conditions, particularly the planning commission. when we have that meeting, if we could make sure they are on the same targets that we are, see if we could have some discussions
in that context. >> i am working directly with a member of the planning department and several people within the planning department to move along, getting to the evaluation comments and they are also anxious. i have -- actually, i do not know what her formal title is, the second-in-command in planning, to keep this moving. they are frustrated with their systems, who just cannot work together. i commit to giving you exactly where we are and looking at how the schedule is running. if things are running faster, giving you a better feeling for where we are as we get through the evaluation and selection.
commissioner clinch: following up, i agree in might be faster than the 24 months you are talking about. i think it would be a great idea to give us an update -- if you could tell us where it is on the flow chart so that we can know -- as time progresses. i was not sure if you had answered that. >> once we get through and are allowed details, i will definitely let you know what stumbling blocks we are running into. commissioner clinchcommissioneru anticipate any stumbling blocks?
>> because the evaluation is not done, we are just starting that bid. i do not know the answer to that. based on our projections of what it will cost, i think we will be okay. stumbling blocks are -- one of them would be we submit clean data to them and it blows up because their system cannot accepted in the ways that they said they could accept it. that would be a stumbling block and maybe a change order. we would negotiate that away because we are not paying. i do not have a way of knowing that answer. it is a fixed-price contract,
which says that we are getting this product, this is what you are going to do, and that is what we are going to pay you. commissioner hechanova: how long will there be a test period before it goes live? >> i will have to get back to you on that. i do not have the rfp with me. >> excuse me, commissioners. it is 60 days. two months of production that would run parallel with our old system and new system to compare the figures, to make sure they are coming out correctly, reports are being duplicated correctly. it actually takes two months of data to do that, rather than one month. you used two months of data to do that. we will be running parallel in
staff, in house, testing it before we go live, for two months prior to that, and then we will go into a three-month post testing to make sure that it does not crash after we go live. we have them on board for actually five months of testing. two before, three after. that is common practice. these are big installations. you also have to realize we are not just creating our database and moving it over. we are taking public works, all of planning, fire, puc, department of health, other divisions data that will be incorporated. we have been working behind the scenes all this time scrubbing the data from the different departments. that part of the conversion process may not take as long as
normal because we are doing a lot of this behind the scenes now, knowing it has to be done. what has also been brought into the mix is we now have a city standard add dressing database, also provided by the department of technology. all of the department's can now go in -- there is a standard format for street names, such asixsuffixes. different departments have different suffixes in their database. this is part of what we're doing now behind the scenes. the conversion, where it might normally take six months to one year, might be shorter here. we are hoping for that. all of the departments have programmers working behind the scenes on this. and they meet around the master address database. everything is kind of happening concurrently, which will lessen
the actual project time for us. a lot of things happening that are in the contract that we asked for help on that is already being created behind the scenes by the city, city-wide. we do not have to do it ourselves. that will also lessen the contract price. commissioner hechanova: one more question. is there going to be a connection between the caps program and the seismic safety component, that any new building or application of these buildings, relative to its geographic location? there are certain areas that are more vulnerable due to geographic and geological characteristics. >> we will have something that will show you which seismic zone
-- in the city -- how vulnerable your building is. we can download all of this information into screens and have that information come up on any property, and have it available for anyone. right now, the system is not that robust to do it. commissioner walker: are we able to search? in a seismic event, we would need to be able to look at data searches. >> once you have something inputed into a field, we want to make everything searchable. you can create either a custom report or not. we are asking to have a report rider in the system that is user-friendly that allows anyone to create their own report.
commissioner murphy: pam, you spoke about the technology committee. are they made up of city employees? private, outside consultants? >> for the evaluation, all city employees. commissioner murphy: i agree with commissioner mar. i think we definitely need some bids and deadlines. maybe we need to bring someone in from the outside to carry the ball here. the ball has been pummeled so many times, i am afraid it is going to be fumbled again.
i will be in the back five years from now, looking at another commission, still talking about this online tracking. it worries me. i have heard nobody come in here and really convince me that they have an understanding, the complete picture of this online system. i have heard people come in from the public, the private sector, who work in this business, and they talk about implementation in three, four months. i am pulling my hair out here. i am not giving you a hard time here, pam. you are delivering the message and i do not need to take my frustration out on you at all. but it is -- is it possible to
have a so-called expert, and give us an evaluation? we had a similar -- if we had a similar situation with caps, i think the commissioners would agree. toward the end of last year, we voted not to extend their contract. we got that finished in 30 days. there has to be someone here to motivate and run with this thing, and i do not see that happening. i just do not see it. that is my concern. commissioner? public comment?
>> good morning, commissioners. i am not saying that the current system that you have -- dbi tracking is quite good. it is really about the other departments. i think what we should do is get these other departments involved. why should we be running this whole show and not have anyone else in the picture? they have to be in the picture. let's get this all together, and that way we will be able to speed this up. as far as dbi is concerned, i am quite happy with the tracking, but it is the other departments getting them tied to the network. get the other departments to be involved in this, and that way, maybe we will be able to speed this up. commissioner murphy: thank you.
any further public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. >> item 3d. update on other activities. >> i would like to introduce a family morrison. she comes to us from dhr < now our manager of personnel and payroll. emily, if you would like to come up and say a few words. commissioner murphy: nice to get to know you, emily. >> good morning, commissioners. i am quite honored to have this assignment. i am excited to take on some of their projects and to actually oversee their personal issues come and get the department moving in a positive direction, and be as much help as i can. commissioner murphy: we
appreciate it. welcome. >> in your package under item threed, we have included our requisition tracking list. we gave this to the commission is for the first time. this shows the date we put the requisition and, where it is going through the department, and eventually, if the commissioners would like, we could do a flow chart on how the requisition process works in the city. it is quite involved, like the contract administration. as you can see, we have been unable to fill several positions, due to the fact that there are no current lists that exist. a lot of the employees we are bringing back are coming back in temporary positions or limited duration positions, until these lists can be created by dhr. we have several of our requisitioned that are being treated as we talk about.
the mechanical engineer list just came out two weeks ago. we are waiting for the referrals to come from dhr on that. we will be able to fill our full-time mechanical engineer list. that is one good thing that will happen in the next couple of weeks. commissioner walker: can you remind us were hiring? >> we have one on board, a temporary position. we have another requisition out for a full-time employee. and we are trying to get another full-time employee. commissioner walker: thank you. >> if you have any questions on the requisition list, family can probably answer them for you. -- emily can probably answer them for you. commissioner murphy: we have adequate cash years now on the fifth floor? >> i am told we do have enough on the floor. we just moved two people up there. that was the result of being
able to fill some of the limited duration position from within the department. as we do that, we will be bringing in people to fill in the position vacated from the holdover list, hopefully. that is all in progress. that is on the last page where we requested those requisitions to backfill positions. >> and as requisitions are pending approval by the mayors of the anddhr. once approved, we can move forward with filling those vacancies. commissioner murphy: which might not happen? >> given the process, it does take longer. you just have to persevere through that process. commissioner murphy: [no audio] there may be a budget shortfall.
requisitions are not quite frozen [no audio] >> freezing or semi-frozen requisition approval process. commissioner walker: even though we are an enterprise department, probably the only department that covers its own costs -- it is a city-wide policy. as you can say with all of these charts, it takes a long time. >> so the commission knows, we have 40 vacancies, a full-time position. our attrition rate is between 25 and 26. as you can see from the list, we have much more on the list. this also includes some
positions that were approved in the budget that we could not hire until march. that is part of our reasons. they will show up in the organizational chart in the next outcropping of that organization chart. commissioner hechanova: what is the general approach when you are coming to the end of the fiscal year, you need somebody and that is not in the budget? do you just shortfall on the staff side and wait to roll them into next year? trying to find out what the general approach would be. >> typically, toward the next month or two, they will put on a hard freeze, and we will not be able to hire anyone until next year. if it gets down to the end of the year -- we have hired people at the end of june.
it is possible to be able to bring people on, but as long as they are budgeted. unless it is in the aso, we cannot hire. does that answer your question? commissioner hechanova: i guess. there are such a large number of positions to be filled. how do you accommodate that and the projected budget category? >> in terms of savings and our budget projections? i think in the next month's report, we are going to look really carefully at what we have, in terms of filled positions, but classification they are in. we get reports from the comptroller's office. we can do a little more of a technical production on how much we will save. we have had a great deal of luck
getting positions filled because they are getting through the mayor's office. i need to show that we have sufficient funding in order to do that. as commissioner romero said, it will be tight. the committee and mayor's office has not met for two weeks. i do not know if they are meeting this week. if we had savings and personnel, because we had not hired the people, it goes into our fund balance. then we have our budget for next year, unless we go to the board and ask for additional authority. commissioner romero: is it not possible [no audio] >> anything is possible.